2020 International Year of the Nurse and Midwife Banner

Wimmera Health Care Group hosted its Annual General Meeting on Thursday, November 17 at the Horsham Town Hall.

Acting chief executive Mark Knights welcomed the 126 attendees to the meeting which saw the release of the 2015-2016 Annual Report and Quality Account and presentations from two guest speakers.

Mr Knights said the presentation from community representative Julie Bergen, outlining her treatment for cancer and other recent illnesses at Wimmera Health Care Group was enlightening and emotional.

"Julie’s story was an incredible one, which outlined the three years she has had with illness. She is very brave to have faced those illnesses but to also have the courage to talk about them openly and use her knowledge as a consumer to help us improve our services," Mr Knights said.

"We are very grateful to have her input as a consumer representative on projects such as the Wimmera Cancer Centre and to also hear her kind words about the treatment she has received at Wimmera Health Care Group."

Wimmera Health Care Group Board of Management deputy chair Marie Aitken represented the Board and spoke on behalf of chair Angela Murphy. Mrs Aitken described the Wimmera Cancer Centre as a defining project for the organisation’s future and thanked the community for its support.

"The response to the Wimmera Cancer Centre fundraising appeal is an example of how we can work well with the community and with groups such as the Wimmera Health Care Group Foundation for amazing outcomes that will benefit the entire region," Mrs Aitken said.

"We value the community and consumer input we receive at Wimmera Health Care Group and we are placing it first and foremost in our thinking."

Mrs Aitken praised the organisation’s stroke program and also its achievements in the Victorian Health Services Performance Monitor, receiving six 100% outcomes out of the last eight quarters. The results place Wimmera Health Care Group as one of the highest performing rural hospitals in the state.

Attendees then heard from guest speaker Caroline Nash, who went to Sierra Leone twice during the Ebola epidemic to treat people who contracted the disease.

Mr Knights said Ms Nash’s presentation was informative and confronting.

"Ms Nash has a wealth of knowledge about the Ebola epidemic and we were very grateful to have her present to the meeting. The pictures she was able to show gave a lot of insight into the conditions in Sierra Leone when the disease was present and also the conditions medical teams had to work in," he said.

Following the meeting attendees enjoyed a supper in the foyer of the new Horsham Town Hall.

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